Story By: Madison Arnold, Pensacola News Journal. Photos by Tony Giberson.
Peace of mind for pilots is the idea behind a Pensacola-based startup’s new app.
Coflyt, a mobile app for pilots, airplane owners and insurance brokers helps streamline processes in general aviation that were previously paper-based or otherwise in a physical log book. The app, which launched in September, can keep track of inspections, maintenance tracking, scheduling and billing.
“One of the things in general aviation that really hasn’t changed since the ’50s and ’60s is that there’s really no good software available to track aircraft requirements,” said Tal Clark, founder of Coflyt. “Essentially what it does is it brings all those requirements that are needed to manage an aircraft into the palm of your hand.”
Clark, a general aviation and former Marines pilot, works as one of Coflyt’s four Pensacola employees. He found a software developer working on the project at Mississippi State and decided to invest in it and move much of its development to Pensacola.
The company operates at Co:Lab, a co-working space run by FloridaWest and Pensacola State College.
Clark said the interest in aviation in Pensacola is a good market to launch the app. He believes that, like him, many military pilots who trained here return to Pensacola, and he sees more young aviators being trained here in flight schools as well.
“The community itself is huge. One of the things we want to make sure we do with Coflyt is to get the pilots locally using the product as much as we can,” Clark said. “I’m not sure there’s a better aviation community in the U.S. than Pensacola as a whole.”
For now, the app is targeted mostly at general aviation. Many of the planes that private pilots fly now are often owned by groups of people or flight clubs.
Clark is hoping the app will help with communication among owners to improve peace of mind on issues like when the plane might need its next oil change or inspection. Staff are also working to provide money management option so owners can share costs of airplane maintenance.
Subscriptions for the app average about $14 for an individual or $34 for a plane ownership group.
Clark said at its heart, Coflyt is an asset management app. Therefore, he could see a potential for it in areas like real estate or boat management, which could be a possibility to pursue in the future.
Cleve Bellar, chief marketing officer for Aero Air Charter, said the needs of a personal plane owner and a charter plane company are a bit different, but he said he sees a role for aircraft management software in aviation.
“Aviation has been around for awhile and a lot of things haven’t really necessarily changed in aviation,” Bellar said. “That’s where Coflyt really kind of fits in is trying to disrupt that old school aviation look and feel.”
Madison Arnold can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 850-435-8522. Original article online at https://www.pnj.com/story/news/2019/11/26/pensacola-based-coflyt-app-hopes-help-personal-pilots-management/4261571002/